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MIAMI (AP) – The Dolphins are eager to ease the load on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and they’ll likely use their top draft pick on a pass catcher. The question is when.

General manager Chris Grier has already traded down from the third pick to 12th and then back up to sixth.

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Another deal is possible if the Dolphins can acquire another draft pick by moving down while still landing DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle, both receivers from Alabama.

Or if the Dolphins want Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, they might swing a deal for the Atlanta Falcons’ fourth overall choice.

LAST SEASON: In Year 2 under coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins doubled their win total to 10 and improved their point differential by 254 points. But they missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, and became the first 10-win team since 2015 to sit out the postseason. Results were likewise mixed for Tua Tagovailoa: The No. 5 overall draft pick in 2020 became Miami’s No. 1 QB in Week 8 and went 6-3 as the starter, but Flores benched him in two games.

FREE AGENCY: Lost QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, C Ted Karras, DT Davon Godchaux, RB Matt Breida, T Julien Davenport, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, P Matt Haack. Signed WR Will Fuller, C Matt Skura, QB Jacoby Brissett, DT Adam Butler, RB Malcolm Brown, TE/FB Cethan Carter, CB Justin Coleman, WR Robert Foster, NT John Jenkins, OL D.J. Fluker, P Michael Palardy, LB Brennan Scarlett, LB Duke Riley. Re-signed LB Elandon Roberts, LB Vince Biegel, WR Mack Hollins, G Adam Pankey.

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POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Florida TE Kyle Pitts, LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase, Alabama WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle, Oregon T Penei Sewell.

The Dolphins have leverage because they hold four of the top 50 selections. They’ll likely also devote the 18th overall pick to offense, and perhaps seek an edge rusher in the second round.

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